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A Community Based Study on Knowledge and Attitude of General Public Regarding Leprosy

Abstract
Currently, India is home to about half of the world's leprosy patients. It is therefore of utmost importance that people are aware about this disease and have a favorable attitude towards those suffering from it. This study aims at assessing the knowledge and attitude of general public regarding leprosy. A cross-sectional study was carried out among 384 study participants belonging to rural field practice area of Govt Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh. Trained workers elicited the desired information using a pre-designed structured questionnaire. Analysis was done using Epi-info software for windows. Findings show that the half of the study participants had heard about leprosy (193/384; 50.3%). Of them, 17.1% (33/193) i.e. 33/384 (8.5% of total study participants) knew that leprosy is caused by an infectious agent. Around one half (58.5%) participants with some knowledge about leprosy were aware that skin patch is a sign of the disease. There was stigmatizing attitude; wherein only around one third study participants were willing to shake hands (33.7%) and sit with a leprosy patient (33.2%). From the current study it can be inferred that a majority of the study participants had either no or inadequate knowledge about leprosy and an indifferent attitude towards those suffering from it. It is therefore imperative to educate people about this disease and dispel the associated misconceptions.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Sharma D
Goel N
Sharma M
Thakare M
Sharma M
Kaur M
Pant P
Year of Publication
2020
Journal
Indian journal of leprosy
Volume
92
Number of Pages
89-95
Language
eng
Publication Language
eng